‘It’s really hard to pinpoint one highlight from the week, but I would say the joint workshops attended by IPHA affiliates, course providers and building certifiers was a highpoint. I was glad our participants had the opportunity to explore the region together and excursions such as the boat trip on Lough Erne and the sunrise hike at the Cuilcagh Mountain boardwalk elevated the week from a work trip to an experience.’
Fermanagh and Omagh District Council played a vital role in the delivery of the conference and hosted a civic welcome reception for international guests at Enniskillen Castle in addition to a gala dinner for conference delegates at the Killyhevlin Hotel.
Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Barry McElduff said;
‘This conference was a cutting edge one for sure. I am proud that Fermanagh and Omagh District Council and South West College worked seamlessly together on this major event.
The Erne Campus’ accreditation as the world’s largest Passive House Premium rated building is something that gives our District great distinction.
From a council point of view we have a lot to learn about how to best achieve maximum energy efficiency, particularly in the current climate with the cost of living and the climate change crisis. This world class conference has helped to show us the way as we move forward with our own projects.’
Thanks to the generous support from a range of corporate partners and sponsors, a number of College students and staff as well as Elected representatives and staff from Fermanagh and Omagh District Council were invited to attend the conference, offering them the opportunity to build new relationships with international industry representatives and conference speakers. A number of exchange programme students studying architecture at Humber College in Toronto were also in attendance and spent six days visiting Enniskillen and exploring the wider Fermanagh area. This visit followed on from educational trip by South West College students to Toronto earlier this year.
Fiacre O’Donnell, Sustainability Director for the Vidrala Group (Encirc), Principal Corporate Partner commented on the company’s support for the conference saying;
‘As the 2022 winner of the NI Responsible Company of the Year, we take our obligations in this space very seriously. We challenge ourselves to showcase sustainability and to drive action at every opportunity – this conference provided the perfect environment for us to do that. Not only did this conference allow us to celebrate the standards the SWC building has achieved, but it allowed us to share with and seek input from the SWC students, the next generation of the workforce. The conference opened up conversations around what industry is doing and allowed us at Encirc and many other industries to demonstrate what’s possible in protecting our world. With a global audience in attendance, Fermanagh shone under a very positive spotlight.
The ‘Building a Sustainable Future’ conference has enabled South West College influence development of Sustainability policy and practice locally, regionally and globally. It was a platform to promote tourism, highlighting the beautiful natural and built environment of the island town of Enniskillen and the wider Fermanagh region. The College has forged new relationships with industry representatives from across the globe and reconnected with partner organisations. The conference programme resulted in significant learning for staff, students and external delegates and has opened doors to potential career opportunities for students not only in the construction, design and engineering sectors but also in areas including administration, business management and development.